Mom remembers two children killed in DUI crash

Her son, the only survivor, working toward healing

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - March 25, 2018, Amber Morales got the worst news of her life. Three of her kids were in a deadly crash on Highway 43. 

The kids were driving with their dad and his daughter when a woman, identified by the CHP as 47-year-old Maria Rodriguez, hit them head-on. CHP said toxicology revealed Rodriguez was drunk and more than three times above the legal limit.

Of the six people involved in the crash, five died. The only survivor was one of Amber's sons, Ethan. She lost her 14-year-old daughter Madysyn and 19-year-old son Kaleb in the crash.

Ethan suffered from multiple injuries including two broken femurs, broken ribs and a ruptured spleen. 

September 25, 2018 marked exactly six months since the deadly crash. Amber sat down with 23ABC to share her story of recovery over the past six months.

She said in previous months, she tried group therapy but it wasn't for her. Then, she found Mothers Against Drunk Driving, commonly known as MADD. With the annual "Walk Like Madd" walk approaching in Bakersfield at the end of September, she dedicated herself to forming a team in her children's names.

Ethan, the sole survivor of the crash, will be walking with her at MADD's event, a task that would not have been possible after the crash. He's been working in physical therapy, re-learning how to walk. He can now walk with no cane or assistance. 

Amber said her goal is to always keep her Kaleb and Madysyn's legacy alive through sharing stories and pictures. 

"It's happy but it makes you sad at the same time. But it makes me happier when people share their memories because it makes me feel like they are remembering... remembering who they are and who they were," said Amber.

The "Walk Like Madd" will be at the Park at Riverwalk Saturday, September 29 at 7 a.m.

Print this article Back to Top